His Dark Materials debuted on BBC One and HBO back in 2019 and has quietly become one of the best fantasy shows on TV. Sadly, it’s coming to an end with its third and final season, which adapts the last book in the original trilogy of books by Phillip Pullman. This season will debut on iPlayer this weekend and sees the continuation of protagonist Lyra’s (Dafne Keen) evasion of the Magisterium organisation, and her own mother Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson). If His Dark Materials isn’t you thing, check out our culture section.
Seasons 1 and 2 adapted Pullman’s Northern Lights (Or The Golden Compass) and The Subtle Knife, respectively, and this new season brings The Amber Spyglass to the screen. When we last left Lyra and co, Lyra’s mother, Mrs Coulter, had kidnapped her and locks her in a trunk. Following the plot of the novel, this season will see Lyra and Will Amir Wilson) journey together into the land of the dead, as well as aiding Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) in ultimately battling the Authority, the angel/god whose followers make up the Magisterium. While the Authority has been something of a shadowy figure in the show so far, he’s set to have a bigger presence in these last episodes.
Season 3 of His Dark Materials will delve more into the relationship between Lyra and Lord Asriel, her biological father, after he was mostly absent in season 2. McAvoy, who was unable to appear much last time around due to Covid, said that Asriel will be more of an active figure in driving the plot: “What he’s trying to do is a lot. You see him in full freedom fighter, rebellion mode. The scientist and the engineer are still there, but he’s much more the fighter and the soldier this time, as well.” As he assembles an army of angels across the multiverse, Lyra is dealing with the prophecy that has been hanging over her head since season 1, that she is a child who will “bring about the end of destiny”, alongside Will, “a boy whose fate is bound with hers.” So, it’s safe to say the new season will be pretty packed with high stakes drama.
The official trailer for the season shows Lyra and Will entering the land of the dead and Mrs Coulter warning Asriel that their daughter is in danger from the Magisterium, along with shots of Asriel summoning his rebellion. The first two episodes of the season have already debuted in the US, with the show starting over here on 18th December, and continuing in double bills until February.
Stream His dark materials season 3 on BBC iplayer from Sunday 18th December
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